In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (yes I know I’m a nerd), Darth Vader’s redemption occurs when he saves his son, Luke, from the hands of the evil emperor. It’s an extremely moving scene, especially for those that remain Star Wars nerds. However, after this triumphant scene, Luke holds his dying father who says “You were right about me, tell your sister, you were right.” Luke had been telling his father all along that there was still light inside of him and that he wasn’t totally consumed by the dark side. It wasn’t until the very end did Vader finally acknowledge what had been there all along, a light of goodness that been inside of him. What does this have to do with Christianity? The complete opposite.
We think we are good people. We think we are full of light and, possibly, only a smidgen of darkness. However, God’s word paints the grim picture that we are dead in our on filthy sin, unable to do what is right in God’s eyes.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)
I am so thankful that his verse doesn’t leave me without hope. Scripture continues to show that through God’s mercy, he has made a way for our salvation.
4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6, ESV)
Whereas Darth Vader achieved redemption by his own doing, we receive redemption, through faith, as a gift of God’s grace. Vader looked within himself to achieve a new standing before his family, we look to the Righteous One who can bring us into an eternal family.
Ryan Yackel is the MC East Leader at Redemption City Church, and a coffee addict. Follow him on Twitter @RyanYackAttack at or email him at email@example.com